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Thread: Big Fish in Small Ponds; Insularity in LE Firearms Instruction

  1. #41
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  2. #42
    Member Highplains45's Avatar
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    I wrote a requirement that all state-certified FI must have 24 hours of relevant continuing education every three years, in order for them to test and report state-mandated annual handgun qualification. Our state commission agreed but extended it four years at the request of some federal folks who "might" conduct a state qualification. We now have a process for reviewing and evaluating that continuing education in order for it to count toward the 24 hours. At the time I wrote it I was dealing with a couple of instructors who had over 20 years since their last, and only, firearms instructor training. It was clear that some requirement was needed as there were many others who went years without additional training. The packet I sent to our commission explained the need and provided examples from other venues. I offered a wide variety of continuing education classes that went mostly unfilled and subsequently canceled. Fast forward about 12 years and almost everyone keeps up with their continuing education.

    We also review Firearms Instructor courses. At a minimum, a handgun instructor course must be 40+ hours in length and we have a list of required topics. This came about when we had officers in our state attending the "firearms instructor course" conducted by a major federal agency. The schedule and syllabus, 2.5 pages long, also served as the lesson plan for the week-long course. In that course Tuesday covered handgun, Wednesday covered shotgun and Thursday was for patrol rifle. "Certification" on three different systems in one week! I called the instructor to confirm this and asked how they managed to fit what most courses would do in a week, into one day. The instructor advised that they "cut out all the fluff" in their course. When I asked what sort of topics were considered "fluff", I was given a rather indignant recitation of the instructor's background (*RT, *WAT, academy assignments, etc., etc.) and service history. This became the first and only, officially "not allowed" course. Thanks to that experience, we have managed to set a higher bar for what is allowed as a handgun instructor course.

    Our commission comes from a diverse group of LE managers and includes city/county government and even court system representation. Coming before them with facts and a plan or solution has worked well.

  3. #43
    Site Supporter Erick Gelhaus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Highplains45 View Post
    ...

    This came about when we had officers in our state attending the "firearms instructor course" conducted by a major federal agency. The schedule and syllabus, 2.5 pages long, also served as the lesson plan for the week-long course. In that course Tuesday covered handgun, Wednesday covered shotgun and Thursday was for patrol rifle. "Certification" on three different systems in one week! I called the instructor to confirm this and asked how they managed to fit what most courses would do in a week, into one day. The instructor advised that they "cut out all the fluff" in their course. ...
    This brings up a potentially useful discussion. Should firearms instructor courses be (predominantly) shooting courses, instructional development courses, or some mixture? Will the student get more from making the gun bang? Or is the benefit from coaching other students and possibly presenting a portion of the material?

    If states and/or agencies are requiring subject matter non-specific instructor development classes first, and the candidate is "competent", how much time is needed for handgun? for carbine? for shotgun? what about other skills - low light, high-risk stops?

    Does coaching, as is done in the Rangemaster class sufficient? Is setting up and running the range for a drill enough? Does it require 30 minutes in front of the classroom?

  4. #44
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    I think the requirements depend on prerequisites. We need instructors who can shoot, teach others to shoot, coach, run a range effectively, and so forth.

    Fot instance, the federal course that Highplains45 describes seems abysmal for a new firearms instructor. That said, if the federal agency had appropriate prerequisites for instructor candidates, it might be fine for their instructor candidates, but certainly not for officers from other agencies who haven't had the required pre-instructor course training.

    My former agency's executive who handled training loved to have someone apply for a program that he could deny. It thrilled him to scrawl "already attended training" if the officer had attended a similar sounding training course five years previously. The concept that one might need different or updated perspectives just escapes him. (Hee's still there, hanging on like Queen Elizabth, but a whole lot less effective and agile.)

  5. #45
    Speaking of prereqs:

    In GA, a firearms instructor candidate now has to have a general instructor certification prior to attending the firearms instructor course. The shooting prereq for the firearms instructor course is being able to shoot a 90 on the state qualification course. That means you can only completely miss the target three times instead of six.

    The FBI instructor standard on their pistol course is a 90; so, you can only completely miss five times instead of 10. Yes, there are other things such as the bullseye course.

    FLETC's shooting prereq is an 85.
    I had an ER nurse in a class. I noticed she kept taking all head shots. Her response when asked why, "'I've seen too many people who have been shot in the chest putting up a fight in the ER." Point taken.

  6. #46
    Member John Hearne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlw View Post
    The FBI instructor standard on their pistol course is a 90; so, you can only completely miss five times instead of 10. Yes, there are other things such as the bullseye course.

    FLETC's shooting prereq is an 85.
    I was told that the FBI has dropped the passing bullseye score from 260 to 240. 240 used to be the one handed standard.

    FLETC is an 85% on the CI course which is a bit of a joke - 255/300.
    • It's not the odds, it's the stakes.
    • If you aren't dry practicing every week, you're not serious.....
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  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Hearne View Post
    I was told that the FBI has dropped the passing bullseye score from 260 to 240. 240 used to be the one handed standard.

    FLETC is an 85% on the CI course which is a bit of a joke - 255/300.
    The FBI still requires a 260. The change is candidates now shoot the bullseye at their home office as a prerequisite instead of day one at FI school.

    I believe the other change is on the regular pistol and rifle qual, FI candidates must keep all rounds within the outer rings of the B8 in the middle of the new Q/milk bottle target instead of anywhere in the milk bottle.

    The FLETC 300 point pistol qual is pretty easy but two people still failed out of my class.. The Fletc course has a little more on instruction and doing lesson plans but I think there is a presumption that those actually working for FLETC will go through the basic/general instructor training course as well.

  8. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by HCM View Post
    The FBI still requires a 260. The change is candidates now shoot the bullseye at their home office as a prerequisite instead of day one at FI school.

    I believe the other change is on the regular pistol and rifle qual, FI candidates must keep all rounds within the outer rings of the B8 in the middle of the new Q/milk bottle target instead of anywhere in the milk bottle.

    The FLETC 300 point pistol qual is pretty easy but two people still failed out of my class.. The Fletc course has a little more on instruction and doing lesson plans but I think there is a presumption that those actually working for FLETC will go through the basic/general instructor training course as well.
    When I attended the FBI school, we had a "pre qual" day at which we had to shoot passing scores on the FBI PQC, FBI Bullseye, APOST, FBI Rifle, and FBI shotgun courses.
    I had an ER nurse in a class. I noticed she kept taking all head shots. Her response when asked why, "'I've seen too many people who have been shot in the chest putting up a fight in the ER." Point taken.

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlw View Post
    Speaking of prereqs:

    In GA, a firearms instructor candidate now has to have a general instructor certification prior to attending the firearms instructor course. The shooting prereq for the firearms instructor course is being able to shoot a 90 on the state qualification course. That means you can only completely miss the target three times instead of six.

    The FBI instructor standard on their pistol course is a 90; so, you can only completely miss five times instead of 10. Yes, there are other things such as the bullseye course.

    FLETC's shooting prereq is an 85.
    NM's FIC requires similar general instructor, prequal at 90% and successful completion of the course. One of the guys in my course (2007) was removed for safety violations during revolver reloads.

    pat

  10. #50
    Member John Hearne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HCM View Post
    I believe the other change is on the regular pistol and rifle qual, FI candidates must keep all rounds within the outer rings of the B8 in the middle of the new Q/milk bottle target instead of anywhere in the milk bottle.

    The FLETC 300 point pistol qual is pretty easy but two people still failed out of my class.
    Re FLETC, I was told that they typically lose two out of every class. Some times more, some times less, but it averages out to two.

    Re the FBI, is this the new target?
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    • It's not the odds, it's the stakes.
    • If you aren't dry practicing every week, you're not serious.....
    • "Tache-Psyche Effect - a polite way of saying 'You suck.' " - GG

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